A few months ago, Liz bought a Roku so that she could stream Netflix content to her television. She complained slightly about the $80 price tag for a device that can only do one thing. But overall, she has been very happy with the Roku. Netflix has been pushing its users to watch content instantly, without the need for the shipping of a DVD. Watching instantly is really a win-win situation. We content consumers win because we don’t have to wait for the US Mail to deliver our DVDs to us and then back to Netflix when we’re done. It’s a big win for Netflix if we watch instantly because shipping costs have made the company the largest customer of the US Postal Service. If we watch instantly, no DVD needs to be shipped and therefore, Netflix saves that postage cost. I’ve watched some content directly on my laptop but I don’t find it as compelling as watching the content on my TV. But I also didn’t want to spend money on another stand-alone electronic device.
Netflix has the answer! They have recently sent me a DVD to put into my Wii (which I already own as those of you who have laughed at my Wii injury know) so that I can access my Netflix queue via the Wii. I set everything up this afternoon, which was amazingly easy. Within a few minutes, Iwatched my first instant content in all its surround-sound glory. Set up might take longer if you don’t already have your Wii connected to a wireless or wired network. But if it’s already set up to automatically connect to your home network, the rest of the set up involves the simple insertion of the Netflix DVD into your Wii. The content that I watched this afternoon suffered no network delays making it indistinguishable from watching on a DVD. Actually, it might be better to watch instantly since I sometimes get DVDs from Netflix that are so scratched up and dirty that they are virtually unwatchable. And the amount of content that is available for watching instantly is quite remarkable.
The only complaint I have about the experience so far is that navigating my Watch Instantly queue is a bit different than navigating through it on my computer. It seems as though items should appear on the Wii in the same order that they appear on my computer but things looked different enough that I don’t think the order is the same. But that’s a minor complaint since I haven’t really managed my Watch Instantly queue with the same attention to detail that I’ve used on my DVD queue. Maybe that will change as I switch to using the Wii more often.
I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.